Susan Doyle would have stayed a remarkably talented 47 year old unknown in Scotland without Internet Video.
My personal guru and part time internet marketing mentor Ken McCarthy is one who keeps at least 4 fingers on the pulse of every major development in internet marketing and technology. He’s not one of those “gurus” that needs to send you 5 emails a day to get the message across or have you buy something you cannot do without. Twice a week at best and the content is relevant and sometimes explosive, but always eye opening. During “the Winter I Stayed in Wisconsin” about 4 years ago, I met Ken on his System seminar which he faithfully organizes every year in Chicago around the time spring makes a serious effort in those areas. Now Ken is truly one of the pioneers who was there at the dawn of the internet, so it is not unusual for him to attract people from all over the world to come to this 3 day event where he shares a world of knowledge. During this seminar he put a lot of emphasis on the then upcoming phenomenon of internet video and his vision that it was going to explode, take over the internet and shake up everyone in TV and media land beyond recognition. Internet video was absolutely going to change the way of information transmission and reception. And frankly it did.
In the early days of Internet video,¬† legions of self proclaimed Internet video experts would loudly tell anyone who would listen that Internet videos had to be short or no one would watch them. Others loudly announced that internet video was a fad and that it would not be able to sustain itself financially. Yet others, mainstream traditionalists, vented that bandwith would be insufficient¬† and cost prohibitive. And then there were the pseudo scientific idiots who claimed that “Viewership drops off dramatically after two minutes.”
Of course you nitwits, viewership drops off dramatically at the beginning, simply because the video in question is not a fit for all the viewers who clicked on it. Those who are interested in the topic will watch much longer videos – and do so gladly.
This is what Ken wrote me this morning:
Imagine if the Nielsen ratings counted all the views of people who channel surfed cable twenty times a minute. 2 seconds here on Program A. 5 seconds there on Program B. 3 seconds there. 1 second there.
By that logic cable and network TV shows should only be 5 seconds long because “the metrics” show that viewership drops dramatically after five seconds.
Well, until recently, the idiot analysts were winning. Not because they were right, but because they had the momentum of unconsidered opinion behind them. Well, the now latest stats are in and.. Here comes the reality check:
-¬† Internet video is mainstream now with about 150 million viewers in the US alone (about half the population) and the average viewer is watching 97 videos per month.¬† Pretty amazing when you consider just five years ago, the typical Internet user was watching zero videos per month.
– While last year, the top 25 shows on blip.tv averaged under five minutes. This year the number is up to 14 minutes, roughly THREE TIMES longer – an increase accomplished in just 12 months!
-¬† Netflix has made over 12,000 feature length films available to its customers for instant streaming – and no one’s complaining “they’re too long” or there is not sufficient bandwith.
My wife catches the TV shows she has missed at the convenience of her own schedule on her laptop. I haven’t gotten around to taking my laptop to bed (yet) but she is the early innovator in the household, meaning on several nights during the week, she is sitting propped up with pillows doing late night eBay bidding or selling or is watching soaps, reality shows (?) or sitcoms on her laptop. And yes, there is a TV in our bedroom, displaying a blank screen most of the time.
Dina Kaplan, co-founder of Blip.TV says: “People are getting more comfortable, for better or worse, bringing a computer to bed with them.”
As for computers in bed, I think things are really going to take off when one of the high tech nerd scientists makes it brain-dead simple to search and stream online video with a TV remote and watch it on your TV set.¬† If that doesn’t toll the death knell for TV networks as we know it, it’ll be the last hymn.
And for those who insist that only quality can make someone watch for longer than 5 minutes: big fat lie!
It turns out that it’s not quality that matters. It’s relevance.
To paraphrase Ken on this one:
“If I am a left handed Lesbian lacrosse fan from Lithuania, I’ll watch HOURS of left handed Lesbian lacrosse content from Lithuania. Quality doesn’t hurt, but it runs a distant second to relevance”.
1) Your quality has to be “good enough” to not be totally annoying and
2) There isn’t another left handed Lesbian Lithuanian lacrosse channel out there that does a better job than yours because no matter how we improve the medium, normal people only want to watch one program at a time.
And this is how the future will present itself and why we have launched the new endeavor of SearchAmelia.TV
We’re rapidly heading to narrowcasting, even if a few topics – sports, financial reporting, and big news – still will command traditional big audiences.
The future market for the traditional TV boils down to the following markets:
1) the technically backward,
2) the institutionalized (in prison, in hospitals, in nursing homes),
3) three year olds and younger who don’t yet have the cognitive skills to manage a remote.
As newspapers have already died but just haven’t published their own obituary yet, the message to broadcast and cable is the same: Change or die.
When we started SearchAmelia.com a little over a year ago, we put a lot of emphasis on relevant content and video reporting, with the eventual objective to initiate global streaming of news and events happening in our little corner of the world. We decided that good news, informative and relevant would be our niche market; there is already enough bad news that airs via the traditional airwaves and media. Good news is our niche market. We want to highlight positive developments, spotlight inspiring people, remarkable people and their accomplishments.
That’s our relevance and not whether we have obtained a $76 license to operate a minuscule part of our operation inside of our city boundaries. It’s not that we portray arrogance here, it’s more about relevance in a much bigger picture. We however thank the local newspaper for abundantly pointing out that we were operating illegally, an oversight on our behalf that has been swiftly corrected. We are proud to announce that licenses have been properly applied for and that SearchAmelia.tv will soon air a program to clarify for businesses and individuals when and how to apply for and obtain a business license in Fernandina Beach.
PS – no license is needed if you operate a business in Nassau County, although it is not entirely clear yet if you don’t need a license if you have a county business but sell products inside of the city limits during an Event like the Shrimp Festival or the Kingfish Tournament or Freedom Fest in Central Park. Stay tuned, we’ll have answers soon.